The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has just released a new report on the treatment of small business by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The report: A tax system that works for small business calls for reforms to how the ATO treats small business, noting that small businesses collectively owe $21 billion in debt to the ATO.

In a media statement on the report, Kate Carnell said:

The ATO rightly took a softer approach towards small businesses during the COVID crisis, but we don’t want to see a return to the extreme enforcement actions my office brought to light just a couple of years ago.

Previous actions such as garnishee notices have crippled small businesses, so it is critical the ATO uses its powers proportionately and appropriately, particularly as small businesses work to get back on their feet.”

Consult Australia supports the calls by the Ombudsman.

3 March 2021


COVID image

COVID-19 vaccine

Consult Australia is working with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) to consider the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia and the impacts on businesses and the workplace. Members have already raised concerns with us about getting access to building sites for inspections and how to protect their workforce. Members can download ACCI COVID-19 Vaccine Guide 2021 here. Keep checking back here for updates.


16 February 2021

hopscotch start

IA's Capacity and capability project

Jonathan Cartledge, Director of Policy and Research at Infrastructure Australia (IA) joined our People and HR Roundtable this week to provide a briefing on their capacity and capability project.

The project follows analysis on the infrastructure market’s capacity to deliver Australia’s record pipeline of infrastructure investment to support our country’s growing population. It has been agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), that IA should collaborate with jurisdictions and peak bodies to monitor the industry’s market capacity to help inform government policies and project pipeline development. This project will consider both supply and demand and will result in an annual market capacity report.

16 February 2021

#pipeline #people #procurement #practice

flooded brick building

International standards for water damage and mould

Do you work with the ME-052 portfolio of Australian Standards? If so you may have a view on the proposal to adopt the following:

  • ANSI/S500 standard for Professional Water Damage Restoration
  • ANSI/S520 standard for Professional Mould Remediation.

The argument in favour of adoption is that both are considered de-facto international standards and best practice. Standards Australia has asked whether Consult Australia supports the adoption of these standards in Australia. Please contact Kristy by 1 March 2021 to share your views.

16 February 2021


steel lattice

AS3995-1994 - Proposal to revise

Do you work with Australian Standard 3995-1994 Design of Steel Lattice Towers and Masts? There is a proposal to revise the standard and Standards Australia needs to know if we support this revision. The argument in favour of revision is that AS3995-1994 needs to be modernised to align with the most recent research and revisions of the AS1170 series and with the ongoing developed and updated international codes. This will ensure that the Australian tower industry benefits of innovation and have prominence on the international stage. Please contact Kristy to share your views. 

9 February 2021



Federal Budget 2021-22

See our submission on Federal Treasury's consultation on the 2021-22 Budget. Our input seeks to emphasise the importance of infrastructure and built environment projects for improving our economic prosperity and providing valuable links for people and goods - particularly in the context of our COVID-19 recovery. We outline a list of practical recommendations around our '4Ps'' and highlight how these can ensure our industry is playing a key role in Australia's comeback from COVID-19 impacts.

5 February 2021

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement



Migration Program 2021-22

See our submission on the Department of Home Affairs' consultation on the framework for the permanent migration system and caps for related visa types. We call for the overall cap to be increased back to 190,000 visas, and we also outline practical ways to ensure the system is more responsive to business demands - improving the SAF levy and increasing the age threshold for high income earners are two examples.

5 February 2021


Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Public Consultation

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) is inviting industry to answer the question, ‘What do Australian small businesses need in 2021?’ Your input will be used by ASBFEO to advocate for further COVID-19 relief and assistance from Government and big business. Have your say via the public consultation.

29 January 2021

#people #pipeline #procurement #practice



Future of Infrastructure Delivery in Australia - Survey

How can we improve the state of the infrastructure sector in the future? Infrastructure Australia is preparing an Australian Infrastructure Plan for 2021 and invites industry leaders to contribute to the infrastructure policy reform recommendations by participating in a nation-wide research survey. Have your say – responses are due Friday 26 February.

27 January 2021

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement


NSW pilots faster payments for small sub-contractors

Under a new pilot scheme to run until June 2021 small business sub-consultants can expect faster payment times from larger businesses that contract with some NSW government clients. Noting that direct contractors get paid by the government within 5 days, the pilot will require contractors to pay sub-contractors within 20 business days. It is hoped the pilot will lead to a NSW government wide policy. Read more here.

27 January 2021


NSW Government

Partner with the NSW Government to host a trainee


The NSW Government has designed a new traineeship in the infrastructure industry for Year 12 school leavers. The two year government funded program will see candidates combine NSW Government and industry experience to develop a rounded view of the infrastructure sector as a whole.

The traineeship is office-based, where each candidate will spend 8 month rotations to gain exposure to the broader industry, understanding the important role of each partner and organisation in the successful delivery of public infrastructure. Trainees will study 1 day per week to complete a Cert III or Cert IV in courses such as project management and procurement, and will experience placements in Business, Project Management, Procurement, Surveying and Conservation.

The NSW Government is seeking support from contractors and consultants to partner and host trainees, particularly those with regional offices in Penrith, Wollongong, Grafton, Dubbo, Parkes, Lismore, Wagga and Newcastle. This is a great opportunity to further your commitment to supporting NSW's young people and provide career pathways into infrastructure for the future of our industry and the next generation of school leavers.

Read our flyer for more information.

Register today!

Watch the video >> (  



Australian Building Codes Board Survey

How can our building codes better respond to future climate impacts and extreme weather events? The Australian Building Codes Board is working with counterparts in the USA, Canada and NZ on this question, and is seeking feedback from industry stakeholders through a survey.  Your feedback will help inform international guidelines on integrating evolving climate risks in building codes.  Have your say – responses are due Friday 12 February.

22 January 2021



Upcoming member sessions

We are looking forward to speaking to members at two upcoming ‘drop in’ videocalls. An introduction on our services for new members is on 1 Feb from 5pm to 6pm (AEDT), and our next SME Open Forum is on 3 Feb at the same time where we are keen to hear feedback on current challenges facing your business.  Let Karen know if you are keen to attend one or both of these sessions.

20 January 2021

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement


Victoria’s Construction Supplier Register

Many of our members are currently experiencing issues with pre-qualification requirements relating to the directors of businesses under Victoria’s CSR – see our members only brief on the issue here. We are urging prompt action from the government to address this unnecessary impact on our members. Let James know if your business is impacted or to hear more about our current campaign.

20 January 2021


Australia pins

Skills Priority List and Skilled Migration Program Consultations

We are using data from our recent member survey on skill shortages to highlight our industry’s key workforce challenges in upcoming submissions on the Australian Government’s reviews on national skills need and the caps for different visa types. Let James know if you have any feedback on these reviews – both are due over the next few weeks.

20 January 2021


Striving  for Mentally Healthy Workplaces

Wrap up on our tender deadlines campaign

We have concluded another successful annual campaign on tender blackout periods over the end of year break. Many government agencies around the country agreed to delay their deadlines, and this helped ensure more people could spend time relaxing and recharging over the break. We thank many across industry for their support through similar initiatives.

20 January 2021


red scissors

Consultation on national automatic deemed registration law

In line with our advocacy for 'one fee, one registration' nationally for engineering registration, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet have developed amendments to the Mutual Recognition Act 1992. This will allow 'automatic deemed registration' for occupational licences and registration - so your registration in QLD will be automatically recognised in any other state that requires similar registration. We are concerned about the narrow application of the law to engineers - because QLD is currently the only jurisdiction will engineering registration. Kristy needs your help, especially if you are a registered engineer under the QLD scheme but you do not live in QLD. Consultation closes 12 February 2021, so please contact Kristy ASAP.

19 January 2021




Thank you to members who assisted in the development of our submission to the NSW Government's draft Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2020. We have significant concerns about the insurance aspects and the disproportionate impact on consultancy businesses. We continue our work with the government, the Insurance Council of Australia and other industry stakeholders to ensure the regulation is workable for the government's start date of 1 July 2021.

19 January 2021



Considering social impacts in infrastructure business cases

See our new report on the importance of considering social impacts in infrastructure business cases. We highlight that the time is right to increase our focus on social value of new infrastructure. These investments can deliver more community benefits when we think about social impacts, both positive and negative, during the early stages of projects.

3 December 2020



Uplifting productivity through best practice procurement

Read our new report on uplifting productivity and delivering economic growth through best practice procurement. This report demonstrates what can be done to maximise the economic benefits of government stimulus by embracing best practice procurement practices that have been nominated by our members from past projects.

26 November 2020



2020-21 Victorian State Budget

See our summary of the 2020-21 Victorian State Budget here (members only). Infrastructure and attracting more investments in the built environment were key themes in this year's budget. It was also positive to see a focus on new projects, in addition to the fast-tracking of existing projects. We also released a media statement in support of the budget - it can be viewed here.

25 November 2020

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement

Australia pins


Don't forget to check the state/territory news pages for the latest on local issues including government engagement, reforms and priorities; ACT, NSW, NT, QLDSA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Also, stay informed of the latest priorities and opportunities to participate in our roundtables and working groups.

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement